The Wildlife Act provides the State Wildlife Advisory Boards provisions to regulate hunting and trade of wild animals, birds and their products. The State Wildlife Advisory Boards can also establish sanctuaries and national parks and judicially impose penalties for violating the Act. This Act was amended in 1982, to introduce provisions for the capture and transportation of wild animals to scientific institutions and bodies for management of animal populations. In 1991, the parent Act was comprehensively amended to insert special chapters dealing with the protection of specified plants and the regulation of zoos. The major activities and provisions in the Act can be summed up as follows:
- It defines the wildlife related terminology.
- Appointment of Wildlife Advisory Board, wildlife warden, definition of their powers and duties etc.
- Listing of endangered wildlife species and provisions to prohibit their hunting
- Protection to some endangered plants like Bed dome cycad, Blue Vanda, Ladies slipper orchid, pitcher plant etc.
- Constitution of Central Zoo Authority.
- Trade and commerce in some wildlife species with license for sale, possession, transfer etc.
- Ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals.
- It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders.
Several conservation projects for individual endangered species like lion (1972), tiger (1973), crocodile (1974) and brown antlered deer (1981) were started under this act. This Act is adopted by all Indian states.